RCGP Council June 2021 report

RCGP Council meeting 26.6.21

RCGP Members can access minutes here:

The latest Zoom based RCGP Council meeting. 

Council was officially opened with a review of the recent challenges facing primary care and how the college has acted to challenge those issues and support members. 

Welcome and Chair report by Martin Marshall with explanation of process and reason for this Council meeting, follow announcements on Twitter here

An explanation by Hon Sec Victoria Tzortziou-Brown on the Zoom process and how functions will work.

Approval of standing orders and apologies for absences, DOI and IG, and welcome of first-time faculty reps, other seats, and observers.

Review of trustee board minutes

Confidential item which is a shame as a lot has happened. Observers were removed for this part of the meeting. 

COO report

The report is available under section C53. The verbal report focused on the elements of the RCA, AKT and work to support the BAME community and change in RCGP estates and structure in the wake of COVID regulations and impact. 
I spoke on this regarding the stress and impact the RCA has had on trainees, trainers and practices and asking for information on the impact to all three groups.

Interestingly, key information was given about the changes to the RCA including case mix selection and TIMINGS.

15 min break

Membership report

Although the report is not for public view, it shows changes in the membership that are of concern. I spoke on the matter asking for a review of the public engagement of the college and its impact noting the recent letter from NHS England and the RCGP’s response to this letter, which I commented was weak and required a further response as an example of how the college needs to improve its perception of the voice of the profession.

A formal response was not given but my point was acknowledged by the chair, particularly in relation to the efforts of the comms team likened to working the hours of a junior doctor at times. I was not able to give a further response to this point in the meeting. 

The General Practice Multidisciplinary Team

This item generated lots of discussion (over 25 responses) including the role of the GP in the MDT team, views that GPs can not do it all and leaning on other parts of the system is important, not just the primary care MDT but also elderly, mental health care and other services. 

A lot of positive and challenging comments were made. Because of the number of comments I did not speak. It was noted the impact of the ARRS roles, lack of nursing depth in these roles and the lack for attention of supervision and forward planning. A fellow council member made an excellent point that most patients are not aware of what different roles can offer and therefore consult their GP to find out if they should see the other roles- doubling the consultation rate. Additionally, leaving the complex work for GPs and taking out simpler parts for the additional roles is contributing to the workload and burnout challenges of the existing workforce. 

Lunch Break till 1345

The future role of remote consultations & patient ‘triage’ in General Practice 

A fellow council member declared their conflict of interest and left the zoom call for this topic. 

As you can imagine this was a topic I was keen to discuss and referred to my earlier view of the document published previously here

I was keen to share that tech is not the enemy, that it can be useful for bringing more of the workforce back in accessibility, provide depth for business continuity for practices and help tackle the estates issues. However, investment and education is needed both for patients and the clinicians. One type of consultation is not superior to another for all situations. 

Unfortunately, I forgot my last point in my time to speak, which was the use of online consultations by secondary care. While mandated for primary care, use by secondary care would help to tackle the backlog, provide equity to patients and reduce workload in primary care by reducing the practice as the go-between for the patient and secondary care.

Reinvigorating Relationship Based Care 

This paper reviewed the previous papers brought to council. There was a detailed debate which I did not participate in, but agreed with many points made about the continuity of care vs access and the challenges this made. This document needs to go  to policy makers for action. 

Nominations for Fellowship and awards

These were approved. 

Review of RCGP Awards

This paper was discussed unfortunately I had to miss the content. 


Chair of Trustee Board – Interim Arrangements

Given the changes with the Chair of Trustees there was a vote to confirm that Dr John Chilsom could continue as acting chair of the trustees until the next election process. This was confirmed with 98% agreeing.

Next there was a vote to confirm members of the trustee and officers having a second term. This would be a change in governance. This became complicated by the views of several council members over the process and reason for the votes. As a result, the vote was paused to confirm which votes were needed due to a time issue and for them to be phrased properly. 

This was then based on the honorary treasurer process to continue ( I did not capture the exact wording). 

The following votes occurred and the results. 

74% yes, 11% said No and 15% abstained. 

Devolved Nation reports

These are as per the member access notes. 

With regards to the England actions, I asked for further clarification on the RCGP plans if NHS Digital does not offer further support to help educate patients with GPDPR. The response from the chair was that they would continue to push hard for support and action by the NHS Digital. 

Elections 2021 Update

This confirmed Clare Gerada as the sole candidate for President of the RCGP and elections will be up coming. 

Next RCGP council meeting 24th Sept 2021

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